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Rear end awareness for dogs

What is rear end awareness?

Based on what I’ve been reading, I’ve come to understand that Rear end awareness is used to describe dog’s consciousness of his hind leg movement so that he is able to control his hind leg movements on command or as part of an action he is executing, for example when running and jumping though an agility course.


Why practice rear end awareness?

Being able to walk backwards may seem pretty useless to some, but I’m thinking dog dancing seems pretty fun and rear end awareness is pretty key of much of the dog dancing routines we have seen. I know 1stworlddog used to be pretty focused on rear end awareness because Bodhi kept dropping bars during his agility runs as well. So depending on your individual goals and objectives, rear end awareness may not seem such a pointless exercise after all.


Two rear-end awareness exercises

We started rear end awareness exercises and wrote about it here in April and May, and then October. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay consistent with it so if you see the videos below that I’ve just filmed today. It would seem like we hadn’t really made much progress. :P *Ooops*

Walking backwards practice

Teach your dog to walk backwards – video tutorial at Eileen and Dogs

Pivoting practice

Teach your dog to pivot – video tutorial at Kikopup Youtube

Blogging about it helps me track our *ahem* lack of progress and keeps me honest at least! :P


So we’re going to work harder on these more consistently.


More rear end awareness exercises to try out

Mr N has a list of Five rear end awareness exercises to try out:

  1. Stepping through a ladder without touching the rungs – we’ve never tried it
  2. Pivotingyes, working on it!
  3. Targeting with back paws – not tried that yet
  4. Walking backwardsyes, working on it!
  5. Standing/sitting on tiny objectssort of working on it as part of doggy parkour :P

We’ve only started on three out of five, so there’s a lot more for Donna and I to explore for sure!

 How do you stay motivated to master rear end awareness? What are your goals at the end of the day from working on these exercises with your dog?


The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop occurs on the first Monday of every month. November’s theme is Rear End Awareness but any positive reinforcement training posts are always welcome. You can join the hop here.



Donna met an African Grey parrot


Sit – Stay while I run my errands


  1. Donna, you almost have that human trained to give you treats on demand.

  2. Thanks for joining the hop! I’m planning on doing a post at some point about spare minutes to train in. Like yesterday, I was working on “marching” with Mr. N while waiting for eggs to steam.
    Donna’s backup is coming along!

  3. Love the video of Donna walking backwards. That is so cute. I saw it on Instagram yesterday. One of the best commands I ever taught Ace was “back up!” He’s just such a klutz sometimes, so directing him to back up has really been a useful command. I use it on walks sometimes, and I also use it if he’s just hanging around too close, like while I’m eating or if I just don’t want to be drooled on! :) It basically means, “Give me some space, dog!”

  4. We have taught that but we used a wall to help guide at first.

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